Thursday, February 18, 2016

Meet my oldest and newest machine

The title makes you think that you'll be meeting 2 different machines, but, you'll only be introduced to one machine.  My 1880 Willcox & Gibbs chain stitch hand crank.
1880 Willcox & Gibbs chain stitch #A333474

before cleaning

W&G badge on back of machine
This is the oldest machine in my 'herd' of machines.  It is also my newest acquisition, since I purchased this machine in January (after the purple Featherweight). 

I've been getting some screws un-stuck on this machine, and, also cleaning up the wooden base.  Yesterday, I started cleaning this machine in earnest.   This machine came with some 'extra's.
attachments, needles, broken hand crank, etc.

original (and fragile) manual

oil can
I knew when I bought this machine that it was missing the spool pin, and that the hand crank was broken off.  I'll be meeting up with a lady who may have an extra spool pin in April.  She also knows how to repair the broken hand crank.  It's the same lady who found this machine for me (thanks Lisa)!
broken hand crank

where broken hand crank attaches
This machine is only missing small amounts of paint, despite it's age.  It has some paint missing on the hand wheel, and, where people grab it to pick it up.  It even has lots of its decals left.

Here is the Willcox & Gibbs, cleaned up.
front, cleaned up

back, where most of the decals are still intact

view of the hand crank attachment
Back in March 2010, my sons and I attended part of a Civil War re-enactment in Beggs, Oklahoma.  When we visited the encampment, I saw a lady sewing with a most unusual hand crank. I asked her about it, and, it was a Willcox & Gibbs chain stitch hand crank.  Her's was much older than mine is (I believe it was 1860's).  I fell in love with these machines then, but, it's taken me years to find one. 


  1. Wow! So glad you found this one. ~Jeanne

  2. Oh my goodness she's beautiful. I love the shape of her.

  3. Super cleaning job and she is now looking loved. I hope the parts will show up before long. When I hear from all those clean/tidy-up fans, I wonder how many treasures have been junked ... just because they are not "bringing pleasure" to the person housing them.

  4. I love it. You do such a great job of refurbishing these machines!

  5. Such a stunning machine! What a beautiful find!!

  6. Love it. Someday I would like to find a nice one too.

  7. Wonderful! I hope you can get the handcrank fixed so she (he?) is useable!

  8. What a treasure you have found!
    And it has found it's way to you, where it will be treasured!

  9. Wow, what a great antique to add to your collection. I know you will have it sewing again soon.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal


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